Top-level drive to promote hygiene
The Government is to set up a top-level committee to launch a three-year campaign to promote healthy living.
A senior government source said the committee members would be announced at the end of this month, followed by a major campaign launch next month.
Campaigns on different themes, such as clean beaches, would be held each month after that.
It is expected that Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan Fang On-sang will head the committee.
It will map out long-term strategies to improve public awareness of food and environmental hygiene.
The source said: 'It's fundamentally important that we begin to instil a greater sense of awareness of the importance of hygiene.' At present, a co-ordinating committee is headed by the Health and Welfare Bureau on work that has been done by various departments and bureaus to promote hygiene.
They include the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, Urban Services Department, Regional Services Department, Environmental Protection Department, Health Department, Education Department and Marine Department.
The source said: 'Different departments are doing different things at the moment. Actually, we are doing quite a lot. We will be looking into how best we can co-ordinate our efforts to promote the concept of healthy living.' At the same time, she said, the committee would study the enforcement of laws against violations of hygiene regulations.
She said one major issue was to ensure the laws would have a deterrent effect.
But she declined to say whether laws would be toughened and penalties increased.
She said the campaign would not conflict with the Clean Hong Kong campaign organised by the two municipal councils.
Calls for greater efforts to improve the environment have grown following a spate of food and environmental hygiene problems such as bird flu and red tide.